FanFic - Michael/Maria
"Help Me Fall"
Part 1
by Liz M.
Disclaimer: I own no one Roswell, nor do I own "Waiting for Tonight," "I Love Rock and Roll," or "Help Me Fall." Those songs belong to Jennifer Lopez, Joan Jett, and Mark Wills respectively.
Summary: The 8 teenagers go to a karaoke club.
Category: Michael/Maria
Rating: PG-13
Authors Note: This is in response to Melissa's "Hard Rock Candy Challenge" The requirements of which were as follows:
1) M&M fic, any rating
2) Maria must sing the song "I Love Rock 'n' Roll" by Joan Jett
3) Michael must be the fella she's singing it to
4) She must deliberately decide to push his buttons, and start "flirting" with the other young men in the room.
5) Michael must get extremely jealous at the way the other guys are watching her and do something about it. Be creative! :)
6) Intervention/appearance by Rath would be greatly appreciated, but isn't required.

“Ugh, wanna remind me again whose brilliant idea this was?” Michael Guerin grumbled.

“Quit complaining,” Maria De Luca scolded, smacking his arm lightly. “This’ll be fun. I like this place,” she added, looking up at the girl singing on the small stage.

“Waiting for tonight, oh
When you would be here in my arms
Waiting for tonight, oh
I've dreamed of this love for so long
Waiting for tonight.”

Across the table Kyle Valenti winced as the girl on stage hit a particularly sour note. “Maria, I hate to agree with him, but are you sure about this? I mean, karaoke can be fun, but this is the third person in a row who should not be allowed anywhere near a mic. Dogs three blocks away were howling when that last girl was trying to hit all those high notes.”

“Like you could do better,” Tess Harding teased him.

Kyle shook his head. “Probably not, but you won’t see me up there pretending, either.”

“Alex, how about you?” Liz Parker asked Alex Whitman.

Alex shrugged. “Possibly. Later, though, I think.”

"We should all go up there and do something together,” Tess suggested to Isabel Evans, Maria, and Liz.

“No thank you, my musical ability lies in playing CDs with my powers,” Isabel said in a low voice. “I have no desire to get up there and put myself up for public ridicule.”

“Liz, what about you?” Tess asked.

Liz looked uncertain. “I don’t know,” she said slowly. “I mean, it could be fun.”

“That’s what this place is all about,” their waiter said, coming up to the table with their drink orders. “Just go on up there and have a good time, whether you think you can sing or not.”

Liz still looked uncertain. “Talk to her,” she said, pointing to Maria. “Maria’s got an awesome voice.”

The waiter turned his attention to Maria. “How about it, sugar?” he asked with a charming smile. “You gonna go up there and sing for us.”

“I’m not sure yet,” Maria said, looking over the song list in front of her.

“Don’t make me beg,” the waiter said, still smiling at her.

“The night’s not over yet,” Maria said flirtatiously.

Michael looked back and forth from Maria to the waiter with an annoyed expression on his face. Then he casually draped an arm around Maria’s shoulders and slid his chair closer to hers. “Can we get an order of nachos for the table, extra Tabasco sauce?” he asked the waiter, an expression that clearly read “hands off!” on his face.

“Sure,” the waiter said, never taking his eyes off of Maria. “Anything else?”

“Nothing right now,” Michael said, tightening his arm around Maria’s shoulders.

“Okay, I’ll go put the order in,” the waiter said. “Hope to see you up there, darlin’.”

The waiter walked away and Michael snorted. “Sugar? Darlin’? What a creep.”

“He was nice,” Maria said.

Michael glared at her but said nothing. “So, Maria, anything on there you want to sing?” Max Evans asked hastily before Michael could say something to get Maria riled up.

Maria shrugged. “Nothing’s really jumping out at me right now, but there are a few I could do.”

Michael looked at the list over her shoulder. “God, look at all this poppy crap. You shouldn’t have any trouble picking something,” Michael told her.

“And just what is that supposed to mean,” she asked, putting down the list and giving him an evil look.

“Uh-oh,” Kyle muttered. He and the others immediately started their own conversations so that they wouldn’t be pulled into Michael and Maria’s imminent argument.

“Well come on, you like that kind of crap,” Michael said. “All that Christina and Britney and stuff.”

“First of all, I do *not* like Britney Spears,” Maria said empathetically.

“Well, you like those stupid boy bands. Don’t deny that, I’ve caught you singing N’Sync more than once.”

“Yeah, but boy bands are fun,” Maria said.

“But still poppy bubble gum crap,” Michael said.

“And I supposed your precious depression rockers Metallica are so meaningful and wonderful and changing the face of music.”

“Don’t even try to make fun of Metallica. Their music actually has meaning.”

“Please,” Maria said. “They’re so depressing. And don’t even get me started on their whole anti-Napster position,” she added, making a face. “What a bunch of selfish whiners.”

“At least they have actual musical talent,” Michael said, starting to get angry. “And they’ll still be around in five years, unlike that pop crap you listen to.”

“That is *not* all I listen to,” Maria said. “I dare you to try to categorize Dido, Tara MacLean, or Sarah McLachlan as poppy bubble gum to anyone.”

“No, their stuff is a bunch of slow, chick stuff,” Michael said. “You like poppy stuff and chick music. Or even worse, country music.” He made a face. “None of those people know anything about rock and roll. It’s just boring, slow stuff or meaningless little children whining into microphones and pathetically attempting to dance their scrawny little butts off.”

“You’re starting to piss me off, Guerin,” Maria said.

“Come on, you wouldn’t know real music, particularly rock, if it bit you in the – “

“All right, that’s it!” Maria said, standing up and cutting Michael off. “You think you know all about me and my musical taste. I’ll show you real music.” She stalked off to the side of the stage, stepping up and taking the microphone from the girl up there when she finished her version of “Genie in a Bottle.”

“Hey, everybody,” she said into the microphone, smiling at the audience.

“Hey, baby!” a guy in the back of the room called out.

Michael whipped around in his seat, trying to see who had yelled at Maria, but couldn’t pick him out from among all of the guys who were looking up at Maria with big smiles on their faces. Maria smiled back at them. “I’m up here because a friend of mine told me that I don’t know anything about rock and roll. Do you think I can prove him wrong?” Several guys hooted and whistled at her and Michael turned around to glare at the room in general. “That’s what I thought you would say,” Maria replied. She signaled to the manager and he started the music.

Maria looked directly at Michael and smirked at him as she began singing.

“I saw him dancing there by the record machine
I knew he must have been about seventeen
The beat was going strong, playing my favorite song
And I could tell it wouldn't be long
till he was with me, yeah, me
And I could tell it wouldn't be long
till he was with me, yeah, me, singin'

I love rock 'n' roll
So put another dime in the jukebox, baby
I love rock 'n' roll
So come and take your time and dance with me.”

“Whoo, I’ll dance with you, baby!” another guy called out.

Maria winked at the guy and then began dancing across the stage with the wireless mic in her hand, silently thanking Tess for making her watch Coyote Ugly half a dozen times in one week.

“He smiled, so I got up and asked for his name
"That don't matter," he said, "'cause it's all the same."
I said, "Can I take you home where we can be alone?"
And next we were moving on
and he was with me, yeah, me
Next we were moving on
and he was with me, yeah, me, singin'

I love rock 'n' roll
So put another dime in the jukebox, baby
I love rock 'n' roll
So come and take your time and dance with me.”

Maria stepped down off of the stage and walked over to a table of four guys. She sat down in a chair at the table and leaned toward one of the guys, singing,

“I said, "Can I take you home where we can be alone?"
And next we were moving on
and he was with me, yeah, me,
And we'll be movin' on and singin' that same ole song
Here with me, singin'”

“Hell, yeah, baby,” the guy said, eyeing the low neckline of her tank top.

Michael glowered and started to get up from the table. “Michael, don’t even think about it,” Isabel said, pushing him back into his chair. “You are not going to cause a scene. She’s trying to upset you. And you probably deserve it, too.”

“I love rock 'n' roll
So put another dime in the jukebox, baby
I love rock 'n' roll
So come and take your time and dance with me

I love rock 'n' roll
So put another dime in the jukebox, baby
I love rock 'n' roll
So come and take your time and dance with me.”

She stood up and began to walk away from the table. “Aw, baby, where ya goin’?” the guy asked, reaching for her. Maria winked at him and walked away to another table.

“I love rock 'n' roll
So put another dime in the jukebox, baby
I love rock 'n' roll
So come and take your time and dance with me.”

She walked up to a table where two dark haired men were sitting and stood in front of one of the men, putting her leg up on his chair between his legs. She leaned forward until she was almost nose to nose with the man. As he leaned forward towards her she pushed him back with a hand on his forehead and walked back towards the stages, smiling.

A blond teenaged boy from the audience jumped up on the stage and began dancing very close to Maria.

“I love rock 'n' roll
So put another dime in the jukebox, baby
I love rock 'n' roll
So come and take your time and dance with me.”

“Okay, that’s it!” Michael said as the guy put his hands on Maria’s waist. He jumped out of his seat and headed for the stage.

“I love rock 'n' roll
So put another dime in the jukebox, baby
I love rock 'n' roll
So come and take your time and dance with me.”

Michael reached the stage and grabbed Maria by the arm. “Michael, what the hell do you think you’re doing?” she asked.

He took the microphone from her hand and tossed it to the guy on the stage. Then he dragged Maria off the stage, pausing at their table only long enough to grab Maria’s bag. “We’ll see you later,” he told their surprised friends.

As they reached the front door to the club one of the guys from the audience stepped in front of them. “Hey, don’t tell me you’re leaving so soon, honey,” he said, looking Maria up and down.

“Back off,” Michael growled. “She’s taken.”

“Are you sure?” the guy asked Maria. “’Cause if you’re not busy maybe you wanna do something later?”

Michael let go of Maria momentarily to grab the guy by the shoulders and shove him into the wall. “I said she’s taken,” he growled.

“Michael, stop it!” Maria said, grabbing his arms. “Let go of him now!”

Michael thumped the guy against the wall one more time for good measure then let him go. As the guy slid down to the ground Michael grabbed Maria’s arm again and dragged her outside.

“Michael, let go of me. Now, dammit!” Maria yelled at him. Once they reached Maria’s car Michael let go of her arm so he could unlock her car door. “What the hell do you think you’re doing?” she demanded angrily.

“What am I doing? What about you and that little peep show you just did in there?” Michael yelled back. “What the hell was that?”

“What the hell was *that*?” Maria shot back incredulously. “I was having fun. And so what if I flirted with some other guys to make you mad. You insulted my music choice and me before I went up on that stage, so what if I wanted a little revenge? And then you went and humiliated me onstage in front of all those people.”

“I did not humiliate you!” Michael said. “You did that to yourself went you went up there and acted like a tramp!”

That was the wrong thing to say. “A tramp?!” she screeched at him. “How *dare* you call me a tramp, you prick!” She yanked the keys out of his hand. “You know what, find your own way home,” she told him. “Because I’m done. I am not going to take your double standards anymore. You don’t know what you want except that most of the time it isn’t me. And the rest of the time you’re too damn scared to let me know how you’re really feeling. You can’t just push me away when you feel like it and treat me like shit and then all of a sudden get jealous and decide that I’m your girlfriend and that you own me. Because you know what? You don’t own me, Michael, and I am not putting up with your shit anymore.”

She got into her car and sped out of the parking lot. Michael stared after her car until it disappeared from sight. Then he let his shoulders slump in defeat. He had really screwed up this time. And he didn’t know how to make it right with her again. Hopefully, his friends would be able to help him in that department, he thought to himself as he headed back into the club.

Maria punched her pillow angrily before falling back on her bed with a groan. Why did Michael have to act like such a barbaric jerk? Everything had been going well, she’d been having fun singing Joan Jett and showing Michael she knew just as much about rock and roll as he did. But then Michael had to step in and ruin everything. Again. God, why did she put up with his crap all the time? Her shoulders slumped. Who was she kidding? She knew why she put up with him. She loved him, plain and simple, even if he acted like a jerk 80 percent of the time.

Why did it always have to be so complicated, though? She thought to herself as she pulled her covers up over her body. “No, I am not going to let him cause me another sleepless night,” she muttered out loud to herself. She reached over and turned out her light. “I am going to sleep right now.” She snuggled under her covers and after a few minutes of breathing exercises drifted off to sleep.

She was awakened by the phone ringing. She groaned and reached down by the side of her bed, trying to find where she had dropped the portable earlier that evening. Her hand closed over it and she pulled it up to her ear. “Hello?” she croaked.

“Maria, it’s Tess,” the voice on the other end of the line said.

“Tess? What’s going on?” Maria asked, slowly sitting up in her bed. “Did something happen?” She rubbed her eyes and looked at the clock, noting that she had been asleep for over an hour.

“Are you in bed?” Tess asked, not answering her question.

“Yes, and I was asleep until you called,” Maria told her, yawning.

“Sorry,” Tess said. “But it’s important. Go to your window.”

“My window? Tess, what-?”

“Just do it,” Tess told her.

Maria heard the click of the phone disconnecting. “Tess? Tess, are you still there?” A moment later the dial tone buzzed in her ear. “Guess not,” Maria muttered to herself. “Go to the window? What the hell is this all about? God, this better not be some weird alien thing again,” she mumbled as she pulled her covers back and walked across the room to her window. “Okay, what’s so damn important?” she muttered as she drew back the curtains and opened her window.

Michael stood a few feet away from her window. “What do you want, Spaceboy?” she called. “Look, this better not be what Tess got me out of bed for. I was asleep and I am really not in the mood for any more of your shit tonight.”

Michael didn’t respond but Maria heard music begin to play. And then, to Maria’s shock, Michael began to sing.

“I've been trying not to love you
I've been putting up a fight
I've been barely holding on
Letting go with all my might.
There's a part of me that's empty
I know only love can fill
I'm afraid I'll never find it
And scared to death I will.”

For once Maria was absolutely speechless, her shocked brain unable to comprehend what she saw before her. She could only stand and stare as Michael stood outside, never taking his eyes off of her face as he sang the heartfelt words.

“Help me fall
Help me fall
If you care for me at all
Help me fall
Help me fall.”

“Michael, what are you-?” Maria managed to gasp out as he began walking towards her window.

“I've been holding conversations
When I haven't said a word
I've been speaking with my silence
And praying that you heard
I'm a walking contradiction
I'd hate to be my heart
It keeps trying not to love you
But it don't know where to start

Help me fall
Help me fall
If you care for me at all
Help me fall
Help me fall.”

Michael stopped in front of her open window and reached out, taking her hands in his as he looked up at her and sang,

“I've got to learn to re-trust
To turn me into us
And I really don't know if I can again

Help me fall
Help me fall
If you care for me at all
Help me fall
Help me fall.”

Michael looked up at Maria, asking with his eyes if he would be allowed inside. She nodded slightly and stepped back from the window. Michael slipped in through the window and stood in front of Maria, taking her hands in his once more.

“I've been trying not to love you
I've been putting up a fight
I've been barely holding on
Letting go with all my might.”

There were tears in Maria’s eyes as Michael finished singing. “Michael?”

He gently reached over and wiped away her tears with his thumbs as they spilled over. “I thought about what you said to me tonight, and you were right. About all of it. I am scared to show you how I feel and I end up acting like a jerk and pushing you away when that’s not what I want to do. I want you in my life always, Maria, but I’m still scared. I don’t want to hurt you and I’m terrified of losing you again. I’m always doing stupid things like I did tonight to wreck things between us and I’m sorry. I’m sorry I got so jealous tonight. I just, I saw the way those other guys were looking at you and it made me so angry. It kinda threw it in my face that there are tons of other guys out there that want you and are probably a hell of a lot more deserving of you than I am. And it made me realize just how easy it would be for me to lose you. And I don’t want that to happen, Maria.”

Maria reached up and put her finger against his lips to silence him. Then she just stood there and looked up at him with an expression on her face that Michael couldn’t identify. “Maria? Maria, please say something,” he said. “Yell at me, accept my apology, throw me out, please just say something.”

Maria stared at him another moment before she spoke. “You realize you could have woken up my mother? And that this time she probably would have used something a little harder than a rolled up newspaper to hit you with?” Her tone sounded serious, but she was smiling at him.

Michael smiled back down at her. “It would have been worth it,” he told her honestly. “Besides, you told me yesterday that your mom’s out of town for the weekend. The only thing I was worried about was *you* hitting me.”

Maria grinned back and smacked him lightly in the chest. He caught her hand in his and held it against his heart as he stared down at her. “I meant what I said, though,” he told her soberly. “I’m sorry for the way I’ve treated you, and I’m sorry for getting jealous over all those other guys tonight.”

Maria smiled gently. “Don’t worry, Spaceboy,” she told him. “I’m not going anywhere.”

He shook his head. “Me, neither,” he told her, before leaning down to kiss her tenderly.

The two were far too caught up in their embrace to notice Kyle and Tess walking through Maria’s yard back to Kyle’s car, Kyle’s portable stereo in his hands. “I knew it would work,” Tess said with a smile as they climbed into the car.

Kyle smiled. “Yeah, and I think it’s given Guerin a whole new appreciation for karaoke.”


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